In this lesson, our instructor Bryan Cardella gives an introduction on atmosphere and climate change. He discusses weather verse climate, the atmosphere and its composition, factors that influence climate, greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect. He then explains how we study climate, climate change and feedback loops, causes of climate change, oceans and climate change, forecasting climate change, potential environmental, ecological, and human effects, and the Kyoto Protocol.
Important fundamental questions on global warming include: “what is known about periods of warming prior to human existence?” and “To what extent have people caused (or hastened) it?”
Weather and climate are very different concepts. Evidence about the changes to climate in the past are very informative for making predictions about what will happen to the climate in the near future
Greenhouse gases (which trap heat energy in the atmosphere) include: carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs, nitrous oxide, and water. The greenhouse effect involves the accumulation of greenhouse gases, leading to a gradual warming of the atmosphere
The atmosphere is composed of 4 major layers (thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere), and from top to bottom it varies in temperature, pressure, ozone concentration, etc.
We study climate through the instrumental record, the historical record, and the paleo-proxy record. Physical evidence that gives us the data includes: ice cores, tree rings, sediments, corals, and radioactive carbon isotope dating
There are possibilities of negative AND positive feedback loops involved with temperature change over time with our climate
Causes of climate change include: Milankovitch cycles, solar cycles, albedo effects, roughness of the Earth, chemistry of life, and climate forcing
Oceans and climate have an intimate relationship and there’s plenty of evidence to support that (sinking/upwelling of water, warming of Northern Europe, El Niño and La Niña)
Climate change can be forecasted via past observations/research and computer simulations
Potential changes due to human-caused effects: rise in sea level, glaciers and sea ice melting, changes in river flow, changes in biological diversity, drops in agricultural productivity, negative human health effects
The Kyoto Protocol was an international agreement among many countries to reduce the amount of carbon being put into the atmosphere. The U.S. agreed to it in theory but not in practice!
Atmosphere & Climate Change
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
This book includes a comprehensive review of the key AP Environmental Science concepts and targeted strategies for acing every section of the exam. Additionally, the book includes two full length practice tests with full answer explanations.
This book is an updated manual that offers a brand-new diagnostic test to pinpoint the test taker's strengths and weak areas, two full-length practice exams with all questions answered and explained, a detailed review of all test topics, supplemented with practice questions and quizzes with answers, an overview of the test plus helpful test-taking strategies, and hundreds of diagrams and illustrations .